Mountain News: Close the door to keep the heat in 

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With that in mind, the county government bought full-page advertisements in both of the local daily newspapers, reports The Aspen Times.

"We appreciate just how important oil and gas development are to America's economy and national security. But there are right places to drill and wrong places to drill. No one would, for example, seriously suggest erecting drill rigs in Central Park," the message said. "We see no exaggeration in saying that Colorado's mountain country is America's Central Park — or in saying that drilling here would be similarly destructive to our internationally-famous tourist economy."

Do they honestly think Obama or Biden would read the ad? Probably not, a county commissioner told the Times, but maybe their entourage members would.

Pam Houston dispenses advice

KETCHUM, Idaho — Pam Houston a few decades ago lived in the Colorado mountain town of Fraser, which sits cheek by jowl with Winter Park, and washed dishes for a living. That was before "Cowboys are My Weakness" and a bunch of other books, the most recent of which is "Contents May Have Shifted."

In advance of a visit to Ketchum, she was asked by the Idaho Mountain Express what it means for a writer to have a book out in paperback.

"For me it means that instead of going to the cities my publisher sent me to on the hardcover tour, I get to go to the cities where my real fans live, like Ketchum and Telluride and Juneau," she said. "Which usually means I get to bring my dog."

Houston splits her time between her ranch near Creede, in Colorado's San Juan Mountains, and California, where she teaches writing at the Davis campus. She tells the Mountain Express that a writer — whether a memoirist, a novelist, or a poet or a short-story writer — needs to have a natural affinity and "some serious training in working with the language."

"Having a story is only one part of the equation, and I would argue the much smaller part, or I would at least argue that we all have a story," she says.

"Knowing how to make that story beautiful and compelling on the page, knowing how to shape it into something others can have access to, is far more important than the story itself."

Schools get lift to megabit highway

GRANBY, Colo. — Bit by bit, the more remote mountain valleys of Colorado are joining the information highway. Grand County, which includes Winter Park, Grand Lake and a bunch of other small towns, will soon get broadband. The local school districts will be the first to benefit.

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